Messages from an Owl (Princeton Legacy Library)

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9780691011059: Messages from an Owl (Princeton Legacy Library)
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When zoologist Max Terman came to the rescue of a great horned owlet in a Kansas town park, he embarked on an adventure that would test his scientific ingenuity and lead to unprecedented observations of an owl's hidden life in the wild. In Messages from an Owl, Terman not only relates his experiences nursing the starving owlet, "Stripey," back to health and teaching it survival skills in his barn, but also describes the anxiety and elation of letting a companion loose into an uncertain world. Once Terman felt that Stripey knew how to dive after prey, he set the owl free. At this point his story could have ended, with no clue as to what the young bird's fate would be--had it not been for Terman's experimentation with radio tags. By strapping the tags to Stripey, he actually managed to follow the owl into the wild and observe for himself the behavior of a hand-reared individual reunited with its natural environment.


Through this unique use of telemetry, Terman tracked Stripey for over six years after the bird left the scientist's barn and took up residence in the surrounding countryside on the Kansas prairie. The radio beacon provided Terman with information on the owl's regular patterns of playing, hunting, exploring, and protecting. It enabled him to witness the moments when Stripey was bantered and mobbed by crows, when other owls launched fierce attacks, and when a prospective mate caught Stripey's eye. On occasional returns to the barn, the owl would follow Terman around as he performed chores, usually waiting for a handout.


Until now, scientists have generally believed that an owl nurtured by humans becomes ill-adapted for meeting the challenges of life in the wild. Terman's research proves otherwise. Stripey surpassed all expectations by becoming a totally independent wild creature. With Terman, however, Stripey remained tame, allowing the author to explore something one rarely sees in owls: a warm interest in humanity. Terman engagingly re-creates this dimension of Stripey as he describes with humor and compassion the daily challenges of probing the life of a "phantom winged tiger."


Originally published in 1996.


The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These paperback editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.


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From the Author:

Even after 5 years of little contact, my "hand-reared but now wild owl" still recognizes me. In April 2001, I saw Stripey, one of her chicks, and her mate in the pasture of the Dalke farm. I was able to approach her and feed her with mid-air tosses. Most recently,while driving home last nite (11/18/01), I noticed a huge owl sitting in a hedge tree. I stopped the car, got out, walked up to this imposing figure who promptly gave me the juvenile "cheep" it first uttered in 1988 when she first imprinted on her human parent. Not only has Stripey survived, reproduced, and fit into the web of her kind, but she has also retained her friendship with me. Remarkable!

From the Back Cover:


"There are very few books written by knowledgeable scientists that truly show the animal (and the researcher) 'beneath the skin.' This is one of them."--Bernd Heinrich, author of One Man's Owl


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Terman, Max R.
Published by Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ (1996)
ISBN 10: 0691011052 ISBN 13: 9780691011059
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Book Description Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ, 1996. Hardcover. Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. First Edition. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1996. b&w photos, 230 pages. Details experiments in radiotelemetry following an great horned owl rescued and rehabilitated by the author and released back into the wild. Terman is a professor of biology at Tabor College in Kansas. First Edition. Cloth. New/New. 8vo. Seller Inventory # 007004

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Max R. Terman
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Book Description Princeton University Press, 1996. Hardcover. Condition: New. Seller Inventory # DADAX0691011052

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Terman , Max R.
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Book Description Princeton University Press, New Jersey, 1996. Hard Cover in Dust Jacket. Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. Photos (illustrator). First Edition. 1996 FIRST EDITION Hardcover book in its original dust Jacket . BRAND NEW from 1996 publisher . Never opened, Never read , Never marked. Handsome book, burgundy-colored cloth over boards with Gold gilt lettering impressed onto spine, and ochre-gold endpages ; in glossy color photographic jacket , with a delightful photo of the owl with the author on the inside back flap. Book size : 6" wide x 9-1/2" tall x 3/4" thick ; 217 pages with index and appendix chronology, illustrated with black & white photographs taken by the author. Max R. Terman is a zoologist Professor of Biology at Tabor College, and also the author of " Earth Sheltered Housing : Principles and Practice , which is an account of his own experiences building a solar earth-covered 'sod' house on 15 acres of Kansas prairie . In this fascinating true story, he tells the tale of coming to the rescue of an owlet . a baby Great Horned Owl . in the park of a small Kansas town . which led him to an adventure that would test his scientific ingenuity and lead to unprecendented observations of an owl's hidden life in the wild . He relates his experiences nusing the starving little owlet, which he named " Stripey " , back to health and teaching it survival skills in his barn that the baby bird's mother wasn't there to teach . and then also describes the elation . and worry . of, once he was confident Stripey knew how to feed himself . letting his little companion loose into an uncertain world . as any surrogate parent would feel . At this point, the story could have ended, with no clue as to what happened to Stripey in his owl-life after . but . Terman was experimenting with radio tags . Strapping the tags to Stripey, he actually managed to follow the owl into the wild . Terman observed for himself first hand the behavior of a hand-reared raptor who is reunited with its natural enviornment . Through the unuqie use of telemetry, Terman tracked Stripey after the big bird left the scientists barn and took up residence in the wild in the surrounding countryside on the Kansas prairie . and kept track of him for more than six years ! . The radio beacon on Stripey provided Terman with information on the owl's regular patterns of playing, hunting , exploring, and protecting . and enabled him to witness the moments when Stripey encountered mobs of crows . or other owls . or when a prospective mate caught the owl's eye . And Stripey didn't forget about Terman . taking time out to check in back at the barn occasionally, and following him around as he did his chores, on the chance of a handout . Until now, scientists have generally believed that an owl raised by humans or nurtured later by people, becomes ill-adapted for meeting the challenges of life in the wild. Terman's research proves otherwis with Stripey surpassing all expectations and becoming a totally independent wild creature . With Terman, however, Stripey 'remembered' him, and remained tame when he came to visit him . allowing the author to explore something one rarely sees in owls . a warm interest in humanity. This dimension of their relationship is engagingly re-created as he describes Sripey with humor and compassion, and shows the daily challenges of probing the life of a great horned owl . Bernd Heinrich, author of One Man's Owl, says of this book : ' There are very few books written by knowledgeable scienties that truly show the animal , and the researcher . this is one of them . a fine balance beween compassion and both ecological consciousness and scientific objectivity ' . a beautifully written fascinating study of another of the many creatures who are learning to adapt and even thrive in human environments . and the very human exchange between one man and one bird . " Messages from an Owl " . by Max R. Terman . published by Princeton University Press, New Jersey . 1996 First Edition Hard cover book in its original DJ *** Secure packing for Safe Shipping since 1965 *** Size: 6 x 9-1/2 x 3/4 ". Seller Inventory # 6029

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Book Description Princeton University Press, 1996. Hardcover. Condition: New. Never used!. Seller Inventory # P110691011052

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